Millions of Brits prepared to contest loved ones’ wills in court

Over 12.6 million people would be prepared to go to court to dispute a will of a family member if they disagreed with the division of their estate, according to Direct Line Life Insurance research.

Direct Line says that its analysis of figures by HM Courts and Tribunals Service shows the number of disputes regarding applications for probate increased by an estimated six per cent in 2018.

With each applicant attempting to stop a probate application entering a caveat costing £20 each, Brits are spending in excess of £160,000 a year on this process excluding the cost of any legal fees.

In 2017, there were 8,159 caveats registered to block a grant of probate.  Direct Line says people are registering caveats for such concerns as whether the will is legal, whether the deceased was of sound mind or as a result of disputes over who applied for a grant of probate.

Separate research from Direct Line found that most law professionals say the most common reason for contesting a will in the UK is on the grounds of undue influence, where the deceased was forced to sign a will or unreasonable pressure was placed upon them.

Tim Crook of OGR Stock Denton Solicitors commented: “These figures highlight the increasing importance of having a well-drafted Will and to discuss the content of it with those affected. However, in the event that a dispute does arise at what can be a very traumatic time for those who have lost a loved one, we are able to provide sympathetic and pragmatic advice (sometimes on a no win no fee basis) in relation to individuals’ rights and the possibility of contesting the Will.”

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